Nadarius E. Clark is a Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 84. His name will appear on the ballot on November 7, 2023.
He is running against Republican candidate Michael J. Dillender.
10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race with specific questions. The responses below came directly from the candidate and are unedited. If you do not see the candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.
Name: Nadarius Clark
Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 84
Biography: I am a working-class community activist, organizer, and Delegate in the
Virginia General Assembly. I come from a military family with a background in business
entrepreneurship. I grew up in a strong faith community and attend Zion Community
Church in Northern Suffolk.
Born in Norfolk, I attended I.C. Norcom High School in downtown Portsmouth. I worked
my first job at the age of 14 at my local 7-Eleven. I went on to college and graduated
from Virginia Union University, a historically Black university in Richmond, where I
studied the fine arts and was the head drum major of VUU’s “Ambassadors of Sound”
marching band. After a house fire destroyed my family’s home in 2015 we rebuilt in the
Churchland community in Portsmouth, where my mother, Annette, and father, Tony, still
I began my activism after a KKK march on Monument Avenue in 2016 disrupted classes
on my HBCU campus. Following this, I co-founded the charter chapter of Generation
Now Network, an organization committed to faith-based activism, advocacy, and
education. As a student leader at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in 2017, I
rallied with leaders of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike, and went on to lobby in
Washington D.C. for comprehensive expansion to Medicare and Medicaid. I further
participated as an activist and organizer of the Black Lives Matter protests in Richmond
and Hampton Roads following the murder of George Floyd.
The experiences of 2016 lead me to become a profoundly engaged advocate for equity.
Particularly in the areas of healthcare, housing, and education. I went on to organize
with the non-profit Virginia For Our Future, The Outreach Team, Freedom VA,
Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover, and the Virginia Democratic Party to help elect
Congressman Bobby Scott, Senator Tim Kaine, and President Joe Biden.
In 2021, I won a historic primary against a long time incumbent and became the first
African American Delegate to represent my district, and the youngest Democrat ever
elected to the general assembly in its 400 year history. As a working-class Delegate,
outside of the legislative session I work for Gateway Services in Suffolk as a mental
health counselor. I work to help those with mental illness across Hampton Roads
identify the best ways to live with their diagnosis and achieve personal goals such as
finding gainful employment, secure housing, and building a support network
Why are you running for this office?
Born and raised in Hampton Roads, I’m running for office because we need an advocate who will fight for everyday working families. I believe I have the energy, vision, and experience needed to put our community first. I’m not afraid to stand up to the special interests in Richmond and, as a working-class delegate, I understand the economic struggles so many Virginians are going through in a way that uniquely qualifies me to take on the most pressing issues of our
Suffolk and Isle of Wight County are seeing more growth. How will you help improve road infrastructure in your district?
I support massive investments to repair and modernize the Tidewater’s infrastructure, particularly in neighborhoods that have been historically under-invested in such as Pughsville and downtown Suffolk. In the face of a changing climate and rising sea levels, this would additionally spur new economic growth by creating thousands of good-paying jobs. Improving our roads and bridges is a top priority for me.
What it the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it?
As a member of the Virginia House Public Safety Committee, I have prioritized the training
and retention of a strong police force in Hampton Roads. I have also secured funding
for our local law enforcement through the state budget and will work with local leaders
to ensure they have the necessary resources to keep our communities safe. I am
committed to fighting for more mental health resources in our schools and police force,
and creating better incentives to recruit and retain a strong mental health workforce in
Virginia. My foremost responsibility as your representative is to keep our community
What is your view on Governor Glen Youngkin’s proposal for a 15-week abortion ban with restrictions?
Ever since the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, Virginia has been teetering dangerously close to the elimination of one of our Commonwealth’s most fundamental rights: the right to choose. I have a 100% record protecting a woman’s right to choose and co-sponsored an amendment to defend reproductive rights in Virginia. I will continue fighting to ensure our rights cannot be taken away by MAGA Republicans and extreme politicians who are trying to criminalize abortion in Virginia, the last southern state without a ban.
How do you feel about the politicization of public education?
History should be taught as it happened, without the alteration or exclusion of key context for one’s own political agenda. We are doing a disservice to the next generation of Virginians by not
equipping students with the knowledge to prevent history from repeating itself. It is our
responsibility as public officials to step aside and allow educators to do their jobs. I
further believe that part of what must be done to advance the wellbeing of our students
is to raise teacher pay so Virginia can attract and retain the best and brightest teachers.
That’s why I wrote the bill to raise teacher pay up to the national average and, if
re-elected, I will continue to fight for better teacher pay.
What legislation would you plan to sponsor in your first year?
While serving as Delegate, I voted to fully fund public schools and as a graduate of I.C. Norcom High and Virginia Union University, I know the importance of a good education. My top priority will always be to advocate for teachers and students in the legislature. Furthermore, I know
that college isn’t for everyone and that especially in Hampton Roads, we need stronger
investments in trade schools and vocational programs so everyone has access to a
great education and a chance at a decent livelihood.
Finally, I know that affordable and accessible health care is a fundamental right. Too
many Virginians are burdened with debt from an insurance system that takes advantage
of our most vulnerable. We should not have to make the choice between life saving care
and bankruptcy. This is why I wrote and passed a bill to reduce the statute of limitations
on medical debt with wide bipartisan support in the House of Delegates so that families
in our Commonwealth that have struggled to pay the bills don’t have to worry about
getting sued on top of trying to get back on their feet.
What is your view on unlimited campaign contributions? Should that change?
Early on in my campaign I pledged to never take money from large corporations. These
groups have had an oversized influence on Virginia politics for far too long. As
Delegate, I will always support campaign finance reform to ensure fair elections that
ensure voters get to decide who represents them in Richmond, not the special interests.
How will you still value constituents with whom you disagree with?
I believe that as public servants, we are responsible for representing all of our constituents,
regardless of whether or not they voted for us on Election Day. We are all entitled to
strong and fair representation. Ultimately, I do not believe that someone’s political views
are the sole part of their identity, and by having conversations with those who disagree
with us, we can learn to understand one another and lessen the crushing political
division that is increasingly part of our daily life